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Election Deniers, Disassemble! Or Is That Dissemble? — Weibles Feud with Monae Johnson, Lose Cred with Conservative

Election denier and recent Minnesota transplant Rick Weible is taking credit for electing election denier Monae Johnson as Secretary of State last year by claiming that Johnson herself is an incompetent fraud:

He said that he initially saw himself as a potential candidate to challenge incumbent Secretary of State Steve Barnett at the 2022 state GOP convention.

Then Weible and his wife, Gretchen, met Monae Johnson, a more palatable nominee because she previously worked in the secretary of state’s office. Johnson, who declared her candidacy in February 2022, had publicly expressed doubts about the validity of the 2020 election, refusing to acknowledge President Joe Biden’s win over former President Donald Trump.

The Weibles, who moved to South Dakota from Minnesota as “tax refugees” in 2018, viewed Johnson as someone who could help them reform the system from within.

But as Republicans approached the June convention in Watertown and prepared to select nominees for offices such as secretary of state and attorney general, Weible saw problems with Johnson’s political effort.

“We found out her campaign was a complete fraud,” said Weible, who runs a cyber security business called D3Defense in Brookings. “She didn’t have a campaign speech, so I had to write one for her. She didn’t have room reservations. She had no T-shirts, no signs, no buttons. She wasn’t even totally sure of the rules of the convention.”

…When Johnson cruised past Democratic challenger Tom Cool in the November General Election, Rick and Gretchen Weible stood behind her as she gave her victory speech, confident that at least part of their vision to overhaul election laws in South Dakota was taking shape [Stu Whitney, “Former Small-Town Minnesota Mayor Is Behind the Rise of Electoral Activism in South Dakota. He’s Just Getting Started,” South Dakota News Watch, 2023.11.06].

Weible is apparently miffed that his useful idiot has turned away from his manipulations:

It didn’t take long for fissures to develop in the partnership between Rick Weible and Johnson after she was elected secretary of state, making her the state’s top election official.

While he shrugged off the “election denier” label, blaming those denials on a lack of transparency, Johnson took a different view. She saw it as politically perilous and sought to separate herself from Rick and Gretchen Weible, despite their help with her campaign.

Johnson, who previously worked at the office under former Secretaries of State Chris Nelson and Shantel Krebs, hired former state legislator and assistant attorney general Thomas Deadrick as deputy secretary of state in November 2022, a choice Rick Weible criticized as too connected to the establishment.

…Johnson and the Weibles currently have no personal or professional relationship, according to Rick Weible.

“Monae made that decision,” he told News Watch. “She sent us an email that said she didn’t want to work with us anymore. My wife took it very personally and had to take some time off to reflect” [Whitney, 2023.11.06].

But Johnson isn’t the only one backing away from the Weibles’ whackdoodlery. Pennington County Commission Travis Lasseter, who has plenty of whackdoodle flavor in his packet, says the Weibles are undermining election integrity with their bunk:

“I was asked to give a presentation about voter fraud at a local grassroots organization called Citizens for Liberty,” said Lasseter. “I went and asked for any evidence that they had, and they said they didn’t have any evidence. But they asked me to watch the West River presentation from South Dakota Canvassing.”

…The South Dakota chart was for Aurora County and showed GOP primary vote counts trending downward, with the caption: “Why Did Votes Go Down?” Rick Weible and Pollema said they had volunteers manually charting data from TotalVote, the state’s election management system, leaving the possibility of human error.

“If they had investigated the data, which was hand typed, they would have seen that someone transposed the numbers for that county,” Lasseter told News Watch. “The high number was actually accurate, and it is documented on the secretary of state website. So they either did not verify that the data was entered correctly, or they willfully allowed it to be presented in a way to make the public more concerned.

As for the group’s allegation that dead people were listed as South Dakota voters, Lasseter said he was given two names and addresses and looked them up on the voter rolls.

“I called these people and they assured me they were not dead,” he told News Watch. “They also stated that they often get confused with their deceased father because once the father passed away, they no longer were a Junior.”

…He views Rick Weible and South Dakota Canvassing Group as partly responsible for eroding that confidence rather than bringing constructive dialogue to issues of election security.

“It’s almost as if they’re trying to get people to follow something that can’t be proven,” Lasseter said. “There is some work to do, but the way they’re going about it is not going to fix any problems. It’s going to make people not want to listen to them” [Whitney, 2023.11.06].

Hmmm… is Weible kicking up a fuss because he feels his support slipping among the far right wing?

Ugh—all this talk has me envisioning a challenge to Johnson’s secretariat at the 2026 SDGOP convention… in which Weible will rally his election deniers to run for the nomination and I’ll find myself cheering for the GOP to hang on to Monae Johnson.


  1. larry kurtz 2023-11-07 06:54

    Mr. Weible’s Faceberg page contains overwhelming evidence that he’s dumber than South Dakota dirt.

  2. Donald Pay 2023-11-07 08:31

    This election denying crap is just like the sewage ash scam. Never underestimate the stupidity of South Dakota Republican politicians, and the people who elect them.

  3. Jeff Barth 2023-11-07 08:56

    There was incredible fraud in the last Presidential Election. It wasn’t led by local election folk, it wasn’t led by Hugo Chavez or Dominion. It was led and is still being led by Donald Trump and his minions.

    The fraud is Donald Trump!

  4. jerry 2023-11-07 09:46

    Mr. Barth, go back to the 2016 election. That was stolen by Russian disinformation that still is running amok. Meanwhile, there is no Farm Bill. Can you believe that? Dirty Johnson does not have the balls to support the biggest industry in our state. He should go back to canoodling Maria Butina at least we knew where his hands were.

  5. O 2023-11-07 10:24

    Part of me understands their point about being “tax refugees.” It would only make sense to come to SD so that you can finally stop paying for SD’s spending — the best way to do that is to move TO SD.

  6. grudznick 2023-11-07 19:09

    Mr. Barth, as you walk downhill breathing hard, are you wheezing that Mr. Trump, the lying bossturd, stole the winning of the election in South Dakota? Even grudznick, who did not vote for Mr. Trump, cannot believe our elections were so flawed that Mr. Trump pulled off a stealing.

  7. larry kurtz 2023-11-07 19:19

    Maybe it’s in the water.

    Okay, it’s the home of far too many old, fat, white people already; so, why would any business locate in The Peoples’ Republic of Brookings anyway? Because South Dakota’s lack of environmental oversight has everything to do with offshore and out of state investors in economic development initiatives.

  8. grudznick 2023-11-07 20:15

    Lar, you and Mr. Pay need to sign up for the 2023 Sewage Ash Conference, here in Rapid City. There are only a few spots left, and I can still get you on at least one field trip.

  9. Susan Wismer 2023-11-07 21:24

    We won’t know for sure until we survive next year’s election season without Kea Warne in the election supervisor position (although she is still listed as a state employee, but the state agency is conveniently blank on, but perhaps SD and the SDGOP owe a small debt of gratitude to Mr. Deadrick for maintaining a tether to reality for the SOS office in spite of Ms. Johnson’s coup.

  10. Arlo Blundt 2023-11-07 21:32

    Secretary Johnson vs. Mr. Weible is a Skunk vs. Badger fight. Just keep your distance, stay well out of the way, and be entertauned.

  11. grudznick 2023-11-07 22:35

    Ms. Wismer, I am sure that Ms. Monae is subverting information and messing with the public payrolls, but golly have you ever considered running for the State Secretary position? That would be one where you could be much less ineffective than when you were in the legislatures, and you could garner some real media attention too. grudznick thinks you would be a great candidate for that. Please run.

  12. larry kurtz 2023-11-08 06:18

    $20 says Monae Johnson hates Jews, too.

  13. John 2023-11-09 09:28

    Most voters don’t pay attention until hit in the face by a bad policy, as is/was the case with the abortion bans. Now the state, Ohio, that serially voted for Jim Jordan and JD Vance, suddenly finds itself partially redeemed by kicking them and their supporters in teeth by enshrining abortion rights in the state constitution.
    The media carries an outside blame for the rise of MAGA, election deniers, Jordan, Vance, and trumpianism.
    The media long stopped acting like “the Fourth Estate”. Instead most media is a ad-drivien machine in search of clicks, likes, and volume in the absence of substance.

    “The press must get across to American citizens the crucial importance of this election and the dangers of a Trump win. They don’t need to surrender their journalistic independence to do so or be “in the tank” for Biden or anyone else.
    It’s now clearer than ever that Trump, if elected, will use the federal government to go after his political rivals and critics, even deploying the military toward that end. His allies are hatching plans to invoke the Insurrection Act on day one.
    The US then “would resemble a banana republic”, a University of Virginia law professor told the Washington Post when it revealed these schemes. Almost as troubling, two New York Times stories outlined Trump’s autocratic plans to put loyal lawyers in key posts and limit the independence of federal agencies.
    The press generally is not doing an adequate job of communicating those realities.
    Instead, journalists have emphasized Joe Biden’s age and Trump’s “freewheeling” style. They blame the public’s attitudes on “polarization”, as if they themselves have no role. And, of course, they make the election about the horse race – rather than what would happen a few lengths after the finish line.”

  14. e platypus onion 2023-11-09 17:48 follow the money

    As Issue One has previously detailed, election-denying secretary of state candidates — who were running to oversee the very elections they sowed doubt about — raised large sums of campaign cash for races that, in the past, have often not been in the limelight.

    On Election Day last year, voters rejected many of the 12 election-denying secretary of state candidates who emerged as the Republican Party’s nominees. But election deniers prevailed in a handful of secretary of state races in heavily Republican states — as well as in elections for other offices, from state legislatures to the halls of Congress.

    This analysis focused on the campaign spending of 11 of these 12 election-denying secretary of state nominees: Wes Allen of Alabama, Mark Finchem of Arizona, Dominic Rapini of Connecticut, Diego Morales of Indiana, Rayla Campbell of Massachusetts, Kristina Karamo of Michigan, Kim Crockett of Minnesota, Jim Marchant of Nevada, Audrey Trujillo of New Mexico, H. Brooke Paige of Vermont, and Chuck Gray of Wyoming.

    Seven of these candidates competed in races widely considered to be competitive, where one prevailed and six lost on Election Day. Two lost in Democratic-leaning states, and two ran — and prevailed — in Republican-leaning states.

    Monae Johnson, the election-denying secretary of state candidate who ran and won in Republican-leaning South Dakota, was unable to be included in this analysis because South Dakota does not require the itemized reporting of campaign spending. The state only requires the disclosure of aggregate sums in broad categories such as “consulting,” “advertising,” and “event expenses.”

  15. ABC 2023-11-10 03:40

    Want to listen to her Monae-ing?

    Elect a non Republican next time.

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